Day 37: “Black Beauty”

Day 37 S-366-LYDoG:

Today I am grateful for my car. I know it may seem like such a mundane thing to be grateful for but, there you have it. Here she is, the boys have affectionately named her “Black Beauty.”

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During the process of my divorce it was decided that our old, old, minivan wasn’t reliable any longer and since I was entering the realm of single parenthood, I figured I’d need a reliable car. At first this felt like a daunting undertaking which I wasn’t quite sure I was up to. At the time I was very, very ill due to the stresses of my marriage and the process of taking apart 10 years of my life.

It was a terribly difficult time. This car, however, was an opportunity for me to get my feet back under me. Prior to getting married, I had been single long enough to have purchased a few cars on my own. I remember the first time I did it by myself I felt very intimidated by the salesman and the manager. As the great “car negotiations of 1999” commenced I thought I would never be able to procure a car at a reasonable price. I knew my limit, though, and I knew I could use my stubborn nature to my benefit.

The further we got into the process the more confidence I gained until I actually decided to walk off the lot because they insisted they were unable to work within my budget. With my head held high, I gathered my belongings and almost made it to my car when the salesman came after me saying that his manager was willing to work with me. They even tried to sneak 99 cents per month on for 5 years but, I stood my ground. They kept telling me it was of little significance but you can’t say that to anyone who can manage some quick math.

I mean duh!

Oh, but I was proud of myself. I had done something that gave me confidence in the years ahead, not only in purchasing subsequent vehicles, but applied to life in general as well.

After those 10 years of marriage I felt completely broken … worthless and incapable.

Where had that vibrant, confident woman gone? I felt she was lost forever and so I asked my father to accompany me as I car shopped again.

Oh, my dad. He is my hero, if you knew him, you would know why!

He agreed to come with and help but, in his wisdom he left me all to myself. Mind you, he didn’t say that he was going to do so, he just took a step back. He barely spoke to each salesman we encountered, which at first felt like abandonment. As we shopped more lots, however, I began to feel a glimmer of that confidence I had found in my earlier years.

Come to find out, that woman wasn’t lost after all. She had just been laden with a burden that no one should have to bear and under the weight of it she had gone into hiding, preferring to remain silent and safe rather than vulnerable and open.

This car may seem like a silly thing to be grateful for to you, but to me it signifies the wondrous awakening of a part of myself that I thought had utterly died in the wastelands of the previous years.

No, no … she was just waiting for an invitation and a safe place to emerge. My dad knew she was there and understood that he needed to give her an opportunity to come forth. I found a lost piece of my soul that day, a part of me that is essential to my being able to cope with the rigors of life.

So, here’s to “Black Beauty” and a father’s love, both of which I would be lost without!

Stina

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